Tate & Lyle confirms ending of coal fired energy ahead of schedule

Amid major industry focus on climate change measures, ingredients and solutions business Tate & Lyle has confirmed that it has eliminated the use of coal-based energy in all its operations across the world, reports Neill Barston.

The move is four years ahead of its initial projections for 2025, and comes as world leaders have gathered in Glasgow for the COP 26 environmental summit that observers hope will deliver firm commitments to reducing global pollution levels.

As Tate& Lyle, which has delivered a wide range of solutions for confectionery and bakery segments, noted, its latest commitment marks the completion of a multi-year capital investment programme totalling more than US$150 million to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiency in its plants.

This has been achieved primarily by replacing coal systems with natural gas-fired combined heat and power systems at four corn wet mills in the US in Loudon, Tennessee, Decatur, Illinois and both plants in Lafayette, Indiana. The Sagamore plant in Lafayette decommissioned its coal system in 2014, followed by Loudon in 2017, then the Lafayette South plant earlier this year. With the decommissioning of the final coal system at the Decatur, Illinois plant last month, Tate& Lyle delivered on its commitment.

As well as delivering significant environmental and economic improvements, the elimination of coal-based energy at these sites means less water will be used and local communities will benefit from improved air quality and less truck traffic.

Tate &Lyle has a strong track record of energy efficiency. In September, Tate& Lyle’s Loudon and Lafayette South plants in the US were awarded Energy Star Certification by the Environmental Protection Agency for the fifth and seventh years in a row, respectively. A new biomass boiler is being constructed at its acidulants plant in Santa Rosa, Brazil, and Tate & Lyle’s Scope 1, 2 and 3¹ greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2030 have been validated as science-

Sara Leeman, Tate &Lyle’s Global Environmental Lead, explained that moving away from onsite coal consumption is “a key part of our sustainability programme,” noting that the business has now fully decommissioned all onsite coal systems.

Melissa Law, President, Global Operations, Tate& Lyle explains: “This has been a huge undertaking for us spanning many years from the first site to the last. It’s been very much a journey of continuous improvement and a real collaborative effort across all our sites. I am proud of our achievements so far and the real difference we are making to the communities where we operate.”

Nick Hampton, Chief Executive, Tate & Lyle added: “It’s clear that time is running out to make the changes needed to tackle climate change and enable societies to prosper. With COP26 taking place this month, we recognise the need for businesses to play their part in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. By eliminating the use of coal-based energy in all our plants we have taken a significant step forward in our sustainability journey. We know we can, and need, to do more in the weeks, months and years ahead, and are committed to living our purpose, of which caring for our planet is a key pillar.”

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